The Sunyani Technical University (STU) has introduced a Students’ Support Fund from which students who encounter financial challenges, in the course of their stay at the university, can source funds to settle such challenges in order to complete their programmes.
“The major philosophy behind the fund is that no student should abandon his or her programme as a result of financial difficulties”, the Vice-Chancellor of the university, Professor Kwadwo Adinkrah-Appiah, announced at the 24th Matriculation ceremony in Sunyani.
He explained that under the scheme, which is being implemented in collaboration with the Students Representative Council (SRC) and other stakeholders, funds were made available to students who encountered financial challenges and applied for assistance.
Money from the fund, which is supported from donations from past students, the SRC and corporate bodies, is made available to support needy applicants for free according to their needs after thorough assessment.
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said it was the view of the authorities of the university that once students started their programmes, nothing should hinder them from achieving their aim of completing their programmes to contribute their quota to the development of the country.
Out of the 3,137 admission letters issued to prospective students, a total of 2,299 applicants, representing 73.3 per cent, were admitted for the 2019/2020 academic year.
According to Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah, this year’s admission figure was an increase of 20 per cent over last year’s enrolment which stood at 1,914.
He explained that enrolment, in terms of type of academic discipline, indicated that engineering, science and technology based courses, TVET, and Applied Arts programmes recorded a total of 1,570 students, representing 63.3 per cent of total enrolment, compared with business programmes which admitted 729 students, which represented 31.7 per cent of the overall enrolment.
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said the improvement in enrolment for Engineering, Science and Technology disciplines was a positive sign for the university “as we are on course to fulfil the core mandate prescribed by the Technical Universities Act, 2016 (Act 922)”.
He explained that enrolment statistics over the past four years after the conversion of the institution from a polytechnic to technical university, indicated a systematic increase in admissions to Engineering, TVET, Science and Technology-based and Applied Arts programmes at both the Higher National Diploma (HND) and Bachelor of Technology (B-Tech) levels in contrast with Business programmes.
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah said the university would do everything possible to sustain the trend in order to fulfil its core mandate as a Technical University in consonance with the new approved Tertiary Education Policy which required Technical University enrolment to be in the ration of 80:20 in favour of Engineering, Science and Technology-based disciplines, TVET programmes as against Business and Humanities programmes.
“We shall work purposely and assiduously to achieve this target as it is the way we should go in order to carry out our mandate of helping to propel Ghana’s industrialisation drive”, he stated.
New academic programmes
Prof. Adinkrah-Appiah announced that the university had obtained accreditation from the National Accreditation Board (NAB) to run a four-year B-Tech Programme in Fashion and Design Technology from this year.
He expressed the hope that other four-year B-Tech programmes, which had been presented to NAB, would be approved soon to be run at the beginning of the 2020/2021 academic year.